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Female English players granted maternity cover

FA and PFA agree contract change guaranteeing maternity benefits

The Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association have agreed a change to English professional female footballers’ contracts that will mean they will benefit from maternity and long-term sickness cover.

It means players at the 24 clubs in the English Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship will, for the first time, be guaranteed such benefits.

Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott, who convened a parliamentary debate on women’s experiences playing football, said: “I am delighted that the FA and PFA have agreed a player contract for the top two tiers that enables maternity and long sickness cover.”

Marie-Christine Bouchier, the PFA’s director of women’s football, said in a statement: “Over the last 16 months, the PFA has been working with the FA to address the significant disparities between the contractual rights and obligations of male and female players in English club football.

“We are pleased to confirm that, following these negotiations, the FA Board has recently agreed to support three significant policy changes relating to maternity provision, injury and illness and termination of long-term injury.

“The PFA’s aim has been consistent throughout these talks – to ensure contractual parity for our female members compared to the men’s game. There is much still to be achieved, but these policy changes represent important milestones in what are ongoing discussions.”

The PFA's legal advisers on issues concerning footballers contracts include Centrefield LLP.

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